Red Monkey Sports Karv lightweight silicone mountain bike grips are made in the USA

Red Monkey Sports‘ Karv silicone grips are lightweight at just 48g for the 5.2mm thick pair (54g with plugs).

They’re made of 100% silicone, and the company’s rep told us they’re super tacky and softer than competing options. The material helps damp vibration, too, so your hands and arms should stay fresher, longer. For those needing a bit more padding, all colors come in a thicker 6.5mm version that weighs just a few grams more. Only the black is available in the thinner size. Widths for all are 133mm.

Retail is just $18.95 to $19.95 per pair, available on their website and in shops by way of Torcano Industries distributors. They’re made in Orange County, CA, and a portion of proceeds go to various cycling charities. The Pinx color donates a whopping 50% to assorted breast cancer charities! Check the video after the break of company founder Michael Nasco telling why he started the brand, plus an install video showing how to get your new silicone grips on…


  1. Hey Michael,

    Very keen observation. RedMonkey Grips are actually beveled now, and we’ll be updating our site and sending Bike Rumor new pics as soon as the new studio shots are done. Thanks for your interest in RedMonkey!!!

  2. I was given a pair and thought they looked like rough ESI grips. Being at the same exact price point with worse packaging and an even uglier bar end plug (I know, right?), I was skeptical. I put them on anyway though and they are completely ratted by my bar end after about a month of commuting 16 miles a day. Suspicions confirmed. 0/10 would not buy.

  3. So I bought a pair of the 6.5mm for my girlfriend cuz i heard they were super comfortable and squishy. She always complained about her hands going numb. She loved them so much I bought a pair for myself. I havent had any problems with them now for over a month. They are very comfortable. Love them and the monkey logo!

  4. We sell these at our shop and they actually are beveled. This must be an old picture. They are super comfortable, much better than ESI. I have ridden ESI for a few race series hands still would go numb. I tried Ergon GP2 grips also better but still loose feeling, loose control. The Kärv 6.5 have kept my hands happy for races as long as the 6hr NUE Grizzly 100. I ride single Speed Rigid and good grips are a key to my success.

  5. RedMonkey Grips are actually beveled now, and we’ll be updating our site and sending Bike Rumor new pics as soon as the new studio shots are done. Thanks for your interest in RedMonkey!!!

  6. Disclaimer: I personally know the owner Michael Nasco and I had the privilege to test various compounds and stages of prototypes during the 2014 US-Cup Endurance Season and 12-Hour Solo Races. Reading all the previous comments, I 100% agree, the earlier versions did not made the cut for me either. (Some I threw back to him right away and luckily, these versions made it never to mass production).
    But the current line of products are superior and I had no problems whatsoever on long rides or ultra endurance races. I had the pink version for about 3 months and can happily report, that the color was not fading.

  7. I actually thought the same thing, these are just ESI knockoffs. Then I was in a shop that had them and they told me to feel them. Big difference from ESI! Much softer. I bought them to try them out and have to say I’m happy I did. Made of silicon like ESI, yes. Same as ESI, no way!

  8. Very similar to ESI… Few differencenes. They don’t tear like ESI’s once you rub up against branches/ bushes. They are much softer. And the biggest plus for me is that you can run them without gloves if you sweat a lot without your hands slipping off the bars all the time. I’ve found some ESI colors to be a bit mor slippier than others… ESI has more colors, Red Monkey are more funtional in my opinion. Both companies make a great product.

  9. My husband and I dropped off our bikes several months ago to get serviced. While we were in there, we were both looking at some helmets, and other goodies. While I was standing in front of the grip area, the shop employee told me to feel the silicone grips, and I thought they felt very soft, and comfortable. I purchased those, and had them install them. When my husband and I picked up our bikes the following week, my husband grabbed my bike to put it on the rack and immediately walked back into the store. I thought maybe he forgot something, but he said after he felt how good my grips felt, he had to go back in and get a pair for his bike. We both use these grips, and one word can describe them, AWESOME! These are both our favorite grips! When I ride, I get very sweaty hands, and unlike any other grip i’ve ever used, these seem to shed the sweat, and my hands never feel like i’m going to lose grip. I would recommend these over any other grip out there! Great job to the guy that designed these, and I think this is the only grip we’ll use from now on.

  10. Red Monkey Grips are great! I was running ESI for a few years and was happy with the product. I was encouraged to give the Red Monkey’s a try, and was actually surprised by how they were different. Tackier, softer, more durable…
    Will it change your life or take minutes off of your race time, probably not. But will you be stoked with a new option for silicone grips, yes! I feel like these are a notch up from ESI and competition will only make better products for all of us down the road. We should be thanking Red Monkey for their efforts, not being negative that their product has similarities to a product that is already out there.

  11. I’m a huge ESI fan and switched to them after having super numb hands using Ergons in almost every position possible. As I’m always up to try something new, where in Europe or Switzerland can I buy them… especially in Pink?

What do you think?